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The Many Sources Of Grief After A Loss

By Features Desk

Friday, July 6, 2018.

Death is one of the most complicated problems we face as individuals, as families, and societies. It’s rarely the long farewell into that dark night as movies and television show. It’s not just emotionally painful, it’s fraught with difficulties that seep into every aspect of our lives. When dealing with a loss, the sources of grief can sometimes be surprising because we’ve never considered that it might possibly impact this layer of our lives. However, as we’re about to show, the effects of grief can be truly wide indeed.


We are all familiar with the concept of grief, even if we have never experienced it. However, as Gaiam shows, coping with grief is something entirely different. We might feel prepared and think that we can avoid or negate grief entirely. But even if we feel okay, it grief can persist for days, weeks, and even months. So, it is best to let ourselves acknowledge our feelings and let them play out. Attempting to deny or avoid grief can only make it all the harder to truly get over our loss, which can lead to serious problems with chronic stress and depression.


Grief has impacts that go deeper than just our mental and emotional states, as well. As Livestrong shows, we might actually have physical symptoms after a loss. Stress can make us feel a physical “fight or flight” response that leads to panic attacks. We can feel physically exhausted, like we simply can’t get up out of bed to do what needs to be done. Many in grief may even have digestive problems associated with the changes we undergo when the stress hormone, cortisol, floods our bodies. If you are experiencing serious physical manifestations of grief, you need to talk to a healthcare professional about it. These problems can and do get worse, threatening your own wellbeing and livelihood.


The role that a supportive community of friends and family plays after the loss of a loved one cannot be understated. Yet, many people turn away from those support structures in their grief, and in the process may experience a severe isolation that can have serious long-term consequences. Without companionship, it can be a lot harder to process a loss. We stay locked in our own minds, fixating over our emotions to the point that we don’t get the distance we need to be able to process them more healthily. Grief In Common has a helpful list of tips that can help you seek the company you need and avoid turning that natural loneliness into a chronic isolation that can see you drifting away from society at large.


Spirituality, in all its many forms, can be a great salve in times of great stress and loss. Religion plays a key role in the understanding that many of us have of the afterlife and that understanding can help us come to terms with the loss. Believing that our loved one is in the arms of God or in a better place can make it all seem less senseless. Yet many people have a crisis of faith after a loss, or those who don’t have a strong faith may find themselves seriously struggling with the idea of loss without an afterlife. Reconnecting with faith or even finding your own spiritual tributes to a loved one can help.


Not all deaths are without blame. Many of them are unjust and there is someone who is clearly responsible. Injustice is a terrible and toxic thing, especially when related to a loss. It can fester and turn into anger, bitterness and hatred that doesn’t scrub off. Pursuing compensation doesn’t just alleviate some of the financial stress mentioned below, it can be a key to tackling that injustice. There is help in even some of the most complex realms of law, like airline deaths that can cross national borders. Teams like Slack Davis Sanger Aviation Law can play a crucial role in helping you see justice. It can offer a little closure and help make the loss a little less senseless. Of course, you shouldn’t expect that it will make up for it, as nothing can.


It might sound materialistic to some, but the financial impact of losing a loved one should not be underestimated. Without life insurance, having to cover all the costs of the funeral and burial arrangements can be a significant stressor. Similarly, for those who have depended on a spouse or parent’s income, that loss can suddenly throw them into very dangerous waters, financially. There are a variety of ways to cope so that you can avoid debt. If you’re forced to cover funeral costs, setting up a donation fund with sites like GoFundMe can help you avoid being forced to pay for it all. Spouses and children can also look into claiming social security survivors benefits and retirement contributions, helping them make up for the lost income.


The long-term

Not facing all the problems above can have serious impacts over a long period of time. Some people might think that they “deserve” to feel as bad as possible or that their problems pale in comparison compared to those they have lost. However, getting stuck in grief can become complicated bereavement disorder. This is a long-term disorder where the negative emotional and physical impacts of loss manifest at their most extreme, becoming a severe risk to the health of those dealing with that loss. If you’re concerned that you or someone else who is mourning is stuck in a rut long after the loss, you need to seek emergency help. Complicated grief is a little-known risk that shouldn’t be ignored or accepted. It has to be addressed so that the griever has a chance at a happy life again.

The points above aren’t going to make the loss of a loved one hit any less. However, they can help you be somewhat prepared for the complex difficulties that can follow a bereavement. There’s truth in the fact that we need time to heal and cope after a loss, but we shouldn’t allow it to wreak havoc throughout our life unchecked. We need to take care of ourselves, our family, and our loved ones.

The Many Sources Of Grief After A Loss

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